Activision Unveils 'Call of Duty' League Format, Season Length

Call of Duty Modern Warfare-Publicity-Embed 2- 2019
Courtesy of Activision

An infiltration mission

The new professional esports offering is set to debut next spring.

Activision Blizzard has revealed the first details for the Call of Duty League — a new professional esports league set to bow next year — including its official format, season length and more. 

The 28-week season, in which players will compete in the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launching Oct. 25, will begin in the spring of 2020 with a five-on-five, home-versus-away, best-of-five match format. Each team will host Home Series events, where multiple teams throughout the league will travel to one city and compete in league-official matches. 

The season will be split into two halves (spring and summer), with the top-performing teams from each split qualifying for the postseason. The double-elimination playoff structure will culminate in the Call of Duty League Championship Weekend next summer. 

"It is an honor to introduce the Call of Duty League, built to reimagine what esports can be," commissioner of the Call of Duty League Johanna Faries said. "We’ve partnered with top-tier organizations who share our commitment to supporting the best players in the world and to entertain fans in unique ways. Together, we seek to bring incredible experiences to our pro, amateur and fan communities, and to blaze new trails for the future of sports entertainment."

The cities hosting Call of Duty League professional teams include: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, London, Los Angeles with two franchises, Minnesota, New York, Paris, Seattle and Toronto. 

Also announced was the Call of Duty Challengers circuit, an amateur-to-pro competition designed to hone the skills of future CoD League professionals, akin to the Overwatch League’s Contenders circuit. Challengers will include online ladders and tournaments starting in November, with a Challengers-exclusive prize pool of over $1 million. Additionally, league teams can hold Challengers events of their own to support the amateur circuit in their respective markets. 

The final piece of the Call of Duty League is the Call of Duty City Circuit, a more casual competitive offering where fans can attend and play in support of their home cities. Entrants will compete in Modern Warfare’s 2v2 gunfight mode for a City Circuit specific prize pool with a finals event scheduled during Championship Weekend in summer 2020. 

Call of Duty League is set to begin next spring, although no specific date has been set and the matchups for opening day are yet to be revealed.